L’Atelier Nespresso, Lyon

Lyon, France
I first went to Lyon about 24 years ago, and it was the
beginning of possibly the longest holiday ever! I say that because I haven’t
returned to live in Brazil permanently since. At the time, I was
still a teenager. I travelled around Europe, and Lyon was my second stop. I
have fond memories of my stay in this lovely city. Somehow, I ended up in
London, where I still live. Needless to say, I was elated and curious when I
was invited by Nespresso to an event featuring three Michelin-starred chefs at
L’Atelier Nespresso and a visit to the famous Bocuse d’Or 2015 contest in Lyon.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but this experience turned out to be a
heavenly coffee tasting and culinary escapade!


L’Atelier Nespresso

L’Atelier Nespresso
Nespresso put together a beautiful coffee experience
alongside the Bocuse d’Or competition, L’Atelier Nespresso, an elegant pop-up
in the heart of Lyon. The outstandingly designed space was created to launch
the new decaffeinated Grand Cru capsules, with a particular master class
in coffee tasting and insight in coffee innovation lead by Alexis Rodriguez,
Nespresso’s green coffee expert and in charge of product
development and quality control. Alexis’s work also takes him to coffee
producer countries around the world, developing and exploring new varieties.

Alexis Rodriguez, tasting masterclass ph: ENguyenNgoc

Coffee Tasting

1)   Look
at your coffee


–    the
crema consistency and uniformity (crema is the white cream-like layer on top of
the coffee)


–    the
size of the bubbles on the crema should be small and dense


–    the
crema should stick to the cup


2)   Smell
your coffee


–    sniff
the vaporous aromas released from the fresh coffee


–    stir
the coffee to release more aromas and sniff again


–    the
first general smell sensation helps you evaluate the fineness


–    learn
the coffee through the smell


3)  Savour
your coffee


–    Slurp
the coffee. Part of the taste is in the smell. Slurp your coffee. By slurping,
you help pump aromatics back into your retro-nasal passage, the airways that
connect the nose and the mouth. This method helps with the perception of


–    A
very simple hint on how to tell the difference: slurp your coffee while holding
your nose and experience how much you taste. Then, release your nose and slurp
again. You should taste a lot more because so much of the taste sensation is in
the smell.


–    Keep
slurping and try to swirl the coffee evenly throughout your mouth so that you
cover all the taste buds.


Can you tell the difference? ph: ENguyenNgoc


We tasted both regular Grand Crus and the decaffeinated
Grand Crus. The majority of the guests couldn’t tell the difference between
them. Nespresso has produced a superb line of decaffeinated Grand Crus: the
Arpeggio Decaffeinato, Volluto Decaffeinato, and Vivalto Lungo Decaffeinato.
Nespresso is offering something unique to all coffee lovers and those who can’t
drink coffee after certain hours. The decaffeinated range  provides the opportunity to enjoy the
delightful sensory profile of their best-loved coffees in a decaffeinated
version at any time of the day.
Nespresso specialists succeeded in creating an exclusive
coffee that has been decaffeinated using water and CO2 methods, gentle
processes that keep the structure of the beans, maintaining the same excellence
of regular Nespresso coffee. No decaffeinated process removes all caffeine;
there is still a minuscule percentage of caffeine present in the Nespresso pods.


The ever-evolving  role of coffee in gastronomy

Christelle Brua  with her creation Cafe Liegeois
After the tasting masterclass, we experienced a workshop
with award-winning French pastry chef Christelle Brua. Her delectable recipe,
Cafe Liegeois, incorporates Grand Cru Arpeggio with a marriage of ingredients
to make a diary-free treat, which she finished preparing on site.


We also experienced a three-Michelin-star five-course meal
featuring coffee in every single dish. The menus on the last night of the event
were prepared by Michelin-star French chefs and this year’s culinary
ambassadors, Emmanuel Renaut and David Toutain. It featured an array
of very palatable dishes, each one demonstrating that particular
chef’s expertise and philosophy.



Salsify, truffle, Grand Cru Indriya by Chef Emmanuel Renaut
Chef Emmanuel Renaut plating up : monkfish and pike bisque, Grand Cru Indriya sauce
Mackerel, Grand Cru Vivalto Lungo by Chef David Toutain
Quasi de veau, button mushrooms, Grand Cru Vivalto Lungo by Chef David Toutain
Wood, Grand Cru Vivalto Lungo, hazelnut by chef David Toutain

The Bocuse D’Or  Experience

Nespresso has been the official coffee of the Bocuse d’Or
since 2008. Bocuse d’Or is part of SIRHA, the world’s leading hospitality and
food service event.

Top chefs come in teams, from 24 countries around the world,
to take part in the final bi-annual competition. The final event takes place in
Lyon. The competition was established in 1987 by legendary French chef Paul
Bocuse.  Each team works for two years to
perfect a specially made fish or meat platter to present to
the internationally renowned judging panel. The dishes are judged based on
taste, aesthetics, and respect for the ingredients. The atmosphere is
electrifying, and the tension can be felt in the air over the final two days of
this international culinary battle.


Crowds gather to cheer their respective countries, and
it’s very exciting to see their enthusiasm and the chefs in action.
Concentration is rife! It was a brilliant up-close-and-personal experience.
For more on this adventure head to the lovely Ida Frosk blog

All photographs were taken by me, unless otherwise stated.
Disclosure: This post was written by me and sponsored by Nespresso



  1. February 27, 2015 / 3:50 pm

    Sounds like a really cool event! I love Lyon!

  2. February 27, 2015 / 3:57 pm

    Hi Julia (A Lady in London) I love Lyon too. Great destination and this event was a lifetime experience.